Past Directors


James Colliander, PIMS Director (2016-2021)

James Colliander is currently a professor at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1997. After an NSF postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, Colliander joined the University of Toronto and became a professor in 2007. His field of research is at the interface of partial differential equations, harmonic analysis and dynamical systems, especially non-linear Schrödinger equation. He is a frequent collaborator of Terry Tao (Fields medal 2006). He is a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2003), the McLean Award (2007), and the University of Toronto’s Outstanding Teaching Award in Arts and Science (2010). He is the founder and CEO of the education technology company Crowdmark.

Dr. Colliander served as the PIMS Deputy Director from 2015, before becoming its Director in 2016. Under Colliander’s leadership, PIMS has been able to expand the role of scientific computing in the Mathematics community. Dr. Colliander secured Cancode funding for the Callysto and Syzygy projects--PIMS’ largest award for a single project to date. Syzygy ( facilitated data and computationally intensive research for researchers across western Canada. Callysto ( made computational tools accessible in classrooms across western Canada, making it easier for new generations of scientists to acquire data and coding skills earlier in their schooling.

During his term, Dr. Colliander supported industry-academy collaborations through the bc-data events and the Math to Power Industry workshop. He received the 2021 Arthur Beaumont Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the applied and industrial math community in Canada as PIMS director.  Dr. Colliander has been instrumental in reshaping the leadership of PIMS to a more distributed model and in the development of more network-wide activities. His term ended in June 2021.


Alejandro AdemPIMS Director (2008-2015)

In 1982 Dr. Adem received his BS from the National University of México, and in 1986 he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. After holding a Szegö Assistant Professorship at Stanford University and spending a year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. He remained there until appointed Canada Research Chair in Algebraic Topology at the University of British Columbia in 2004. He has held visiting positions at the ETH-Zurich, the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, the University of Paris VII and XIII, and Princeton University.

Dr. Adem's mathematical interests vary widely over topics in algebraic topology, group cohomology and related areas. He has given over 200 invited lectures, including one for the celebrated Bourbaki Seminar in Paris. His monographCohomology of Finite Groups(written with R. James Milgram) was published as a Springer–Verlag Grundlehren (Volume 309) in 1994; a second edition appeared in 2004. He was awarded an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1992, a Romnes Faculty Fellowship in 1995 and a Vilas Associate Award in 2003. Since 2004 he has been an editor for the Transactions and the Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society.

During the period 1999-2002, Dr. Adem served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at UW-Madison. From 2003 to 2007, he served as co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, and as a member of their Board of Trustees On January 1, 2005, he became the Deputy Director of PIMS, and on July 1, 2008 he became the Director of PIMS. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences and the Banff International Research Station.

In January of 2015, it was announced that Dr. Adem would be appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of Mitacs.


Dr. Ivar Ekeland - PIMS Director (2003 - 2008)

Ivar Ekeland is the Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at the University of British Columbia. He is a former President of Université Paris-Dauphine, and a former Director of the research centres CEREMADE and Institute Finance-Dauphine. He has received prizes from the French Academy of Sciences, the French Mathematical Society, and the Belgian Academy of Sciences. He is a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and he holds honorary doctorates from UBC and from the University of Saint Petersburg for Economics and Finance. Dr. Ekeland is the founding editor of the "Annales de l'Institut Henri Poincaré-Analyse Nonlineaire" and he sits on the editorial board of many other publications. He has also written several books which are reflections on, or popularization of, mathematics. For these contributions, Dr. Ekeland was awarded the "Prix Jean Rostand" by the Association des Ecrivains Scientifiques de France and the "Prix d'Alembert" by the Société Mathématique de France. He is also a regular contributor to the journal "Nature" as well as to the magazine "Pour la Science". He is the author of over ten books, the two latest being "Cat in Numberland" (Cricket Books, 2006) and "The Best of All Possible Worlds" (Chicago University Press, 2006)



Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub - PIMS Director (1996 - 2003)

Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub is the founding director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). Under his leadership, PIMS was created in 1996, and the institute rapidly evolved into a unique bi-national scientific partnership involving all major universities of Alberta, BC and Washington State. During his directorship (1996-2003) PIMS became recognized world-wide as an effective new model for the mathematical sciences: one that addresses simultaneously the imperatives of research, education and technology transfer, and one that was able to unite a diverse community of many institutions over a geographically challenging area.

Dr. Ghoussoub's service to the world's mathematical community has been nothing short of extraordinary. In 1999, he founded --in collaboration with Don Dawson (Director of the Fields institute, Toronto), Luc Vinet (Director of the CRM, Montreal), and Steve Halperin (U. of Toronto)-- the MITACS Network of Centres of Excellence (Mathematics of Information Technology & Complex Systems). He is currently a member of the MITACS' Board of Directors. In 2001, he founded --in collaboration with David Eisenbud (UC Berkeley), and Robert V. Moody (U. Alberta)-- the Banff International Research Station (BIRS), and he has been the scientific director of the station since 2004.

Dr. Ghoussoub received an undergraduate degree from the Lebanese University of Beirut in 1973 and a doctorat d'état from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 1979. His present research interests are in non-linear analysis and partial differential equations. He is currently a Professor of Mathematics and a Distinguished University Scholar of the University of British Columbia. In 2015, he was awarded an honorary degree (DSc) from the University of Victoria and was appointed an officer to the Order of Canada.

His academic distinctions include the Coxeter-James Prize (1990), a UBC Killam Senior Research Fellowship (1992), the Jeffrey-Williams Prize (2007), and the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for outstanding service and leadership (2007). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1993, and was awarded in 2004 a Doctorat Honoris Causa from the Université Paris-Dauphine.

He was chair of NSERC's grant selection committee for mathematics in 1995-1996, and is currently serving on the Killam committee of the Canada Council for the Arts (2007-2010). He was vice-president of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 1994 to 1996, the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Mathematics from 1993 to 2002, the founding editor-in chief of the "Pi in the Sky" magazine, and is currently on the editorial board of various international journals.



Past Deputy Directors



Marni Mishna (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021)
Brian Marcus (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019)

Jim Colliander (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016)
Martin Barlow (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015)
George “Bud” Homsy (January 1, 2010 – June 30, 2014)
David Brydges (August 1, 2008 - December 31, 2009)

Alejandro Adem (January 1, 2005 - June 30, 2008)

Manfred Trummer (July 1, 2003 - December 31, 2004)

Dale Rolfson (2002 - June 30, 2003)

Michael Lamoureux (1999-2001)

Arvind Gupta (1996 - 1998)